Book Review – ABC of ICT




Paul Wilkinson and Jan Schilt


This publication is aimed at any ITSM professional who is looking to make their ITSM initiatives a success. It is aimed at those needing guidance on they way in which the ‘Attitude’, the ‘Behaviour’ and the ‘Culture’ within the world of ICT and all of its stakeholders, are taken into account and consciously addressed.


ABC stands for Attitude, Behaviour and Culture and the publication looks at each of those aspects and how they can make or break a successful IT service management initiative. The book looks at the current state of the ITSM industry and discusses how we need to change the current way we approach ITSM adoption and deployment. The authors have developed a card game that depicts, in cartoon fashion, “worst practice” examples in relation to ABC. Each worst practice contained within the card pack – 56 in total – is discussed in detail. Input and comments from leading ITSM professionals are included along with many practical case studies showing the real improvements that can be made by successfully addressing ABC.


Beginner to advanced

Karen’s Comment:

As the back cover of the publication states, this is a “thought-provoking” title. This is the book that every leader of change, in whatever capacity, should make reference to. From my experience, I know that the biggest reason for the failure of most ITSM initiatives is the failure to address the people aspect. Most focus is given to process and products (i.e. tools) – not necessarily in that order – and the least is given to people. This book addresses exactly that problem.

I love this book because not only does it raise awareness of the aspects of ABC and how to recognise them in your organisation, it is also full of practical examples and case studies. This is a “real-world” book. An example of this is the reference it makes to “culture” on page 67. We spend so much time talking about “culture change” when in fact we should not be focusing on this at all! As the authors say “One of the most important lessons when working the culture is that culture is generated as a resulting of working on behavior and attitude…… Do not focus your attention on culture when improving organisations. Use the word as little as possible and focus instead on changing behaviours and attitudes. The long term effect of changing attitude and behavior will be a shift in culture”. This is real sound advice.

As well as identifying the ABC issues, the authors provide practical interventions for dealing with them.

My opinion is that this book deserves 4.0 stars out of 5. I would like to have seen in Chapter 5, after the description of each ABC issue in detail, a summary of actions to be taken to overcome those issues. Those actions or interventions are included in the case studies or elsewhere in the publication but an additional reference to them in relation to each issue would be useful. This would make the publication more accessible as a handbook.

That should not deter you from reading this publication. I believe the authors go along way towards meeting their stated objective to “help you become the most important instrument of change within your organisation”.

If you have a role to play in making an ITSM initiative a success, whether you are a CIO, IT manager, process manager, service manager, operational manager, project manager, team leader, human resource manager, trainer, advisor, consultant or even the beneficiary of ITSM processes, I believe that there is something in this book for you.

Rating: 4.0 stars out of 5.

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